Tag Archives: Holidays

Getting Back To Normal

It seems so easy to allow a Holiday like Thanksgiving to hang over for the next few days, sometimes the entire weekend.  For many years prior to joining Weight Watchers, I allowed that to happen.  Sometimes it continued into the next week or even several.

I don’t allow that to happen to me anymore.  Friday was a good day, under control and no sign of lingering excess flexibility.  That is part of what I talked about last Tuesday when I talked about enjoying on the Holiday but then getting right back on track.  I think I’ve done that at least so far.  Friday I went to the movies to see Lincoln.  It was incredible and I need to talk about it after I’ve digested it a bit. The key is that I ate Nothing at the movie.  The smell of popcorn as we walked into the theatre almost got the better of me, but I just talked to myself in my head and made my way through it and let nothing get in my way.

I’ll be curious to see what the scale holds for me when I get to Weight Watchers this morning.  I’m really not sure, but I do know that I’ll be right back on program after the meeting and doing what I should be doing.  I really do feel very much in control at the moment.  What a nice feeling!

Friday morning when the sun came up there was a fog which led to some interesting pictures.

Kind of spooky, but pretty.

Happy Saturday!!  Wish me luck!!

WIAT~What I Ate On Thanksgiving

Such a Clever Title!  So seriously the lovely Jenn At Peas & Crayons, who hosts What I Ate Wednesday every week decided that she would host for two days and we could also play a second time and share What I Ate on Thanksgiving…I say Why Not!  Here goes!

What I Ate on Thanksgiving

My story actually starts on Wednesday.  I had to create one of my usual contributions to Thanksgiving dinner…Cranberry Orange Mold.  Here’s the story on the mold.  When I was a Tupperware Lady…MANY years ago (I left it to become a Weight Watchers leader) I got this recipe to go with the jello mold that we sold.  Of course as is sort of like me, I never “officially” got the recipe…I got it by word of mouth.  I’ve never been sure I have the recipe right, but after all these years of no complaints, I guess the recipe is right.

The assemblage.  Please take note of the recipe.

This is the very same recipe that I wrote down on the fly all those years ago.  You can see that it’s old and as with so many of my recipes…stained.  I’m working on putting everything in plastic sleeves to avoid this in the future!  ;-)  Here’s the recipe.


Cranberry Orange Mold

2 packages of a berry type Jello (I used raspberry this year, I used cherry last year and I didn’t like it as much.  There used to be a mixed berry variety that was very good.  One year Jello actually put out cranberry jello which was the best.  I think next year I’ll search for that on-line.)

2 cups boiling water (Don’t make the mistake of following the package directions…I did that one year…Doesn’t work :-(   )

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Dash of ground cloves

1 can whole cranberry sauce

2 cans mandarin oranges-drained

Dissolve the Jello in the boiling water.  I suggest that at this point you add the whole cranberry sauce by spoonfuls.  The heat of the water helps to dissolve it and it mixes in better.  The amounts of the spices are really just general and depend on your own taste preferences.  I add a lot more cinnamon and cloves, but that’s the way I like it.  For your first try, you might want to follow the directions. Recipe says “chill to thicken.”  I’ve never done that.  When the cranberry sauce has dissolved into the mixture, I pour it into the mold.  Less to pour makes it a little less messy…This is a learned action.  Once the mixture is in the mold, add in the oranges.  Stir carefully around the mold so that the whole cranberries and the oranges are evenly distributed throughout the mold. Chill overnight for best results.  Be sure to let it sit out at room temperature before you try to unmold it.  The process works better that way.  I usually take it out about 45 minutes prior.


Ta-Da…Jello Mold!

Pretty colors!

Here it is…on the antique plate it has resided on every year since I started making it.  I had to grab the photo quick before it was devoured! ;-)

The craziness as everyone starts to dig in before everyone is even seated!!

My heaping plate…Ele’s coleslaw and cranberry orange relish on my side plate.  The star attraction two Morningstar Farms Grillers California Turk’y Burgers, mashed potatoes, stuffing, succotash (my favorite!!) and cranberry orange mold. 

The gravy comes from this wonderful stuff…

Turkey Gravy.jpg

It’s vegetarian and I’ve been using it for years.  Quite a few years ago, we even stopped making “real” turkey gravy because no one knew the difference.  With this, it’s perfect every time!

The dessert spread!

Apple pie all the way from Washington, D.C. courtesy of our friend, Jim!  I must confess I also had a small piece cut from the square pan in the previous photo…pineapple cheese pie…a local favorite. Yum.

So that’s it for What I Ate On Thanksgiving.  It was fun to share my goodies this way.  Try the recipe…it’s delicious, if I do say so myself! ;-)

Happy Friday after Thanksgiving!!  I refuse to use that other name for it!

With Thanks

I’ll start by wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to share with all of you some of the things for which I am thankful.  If I was better at planning ahead, I would have planned this post and had a better list put together.  But lets work with what we’ve got and see how it turns out.

That For Which I Am Thankful:

1.  Waking up every day, healthy and active.  Though I’m not as active as I should be or as I would like to be, I am fortunate to experience the good health that I do.

2.  A Roof Over My Head-Disaster though it may be at the moment, I’m warm when I need to be and cool when I need to be and with my continuing efforts, it Will get better!

3.  Food in the cupboard, in the fridge and on the table.   So many don’t have this simple necessity.  We are fortunate.

4.  The Gift of Books- This come directly from my Mom.  She taught us that reading was at least as important as anything else she had to do.  I thank her for this.

5.  The new and ever-changing world of blogging.  I’ve always wanted to write, now I get to do it every day and as it turns out, other people seem to enjoy reading what I write!  This leads me to thank all of my wonderful readers for their support and encouragement over almost two years.  Thanks to everyone!

6.  My wonderful family.  I’m so lucky to have a wonderful sister, Ele.  We are as close as we can be.  We try our best to help and support each other. I’m also lucky that when Ralph came into my life, I inherited three sisters and a brother plus lots of nieces and nephews.  I also inherited Ralph’s three children and their children.  I never thought I’d have grandchildren, but thanks to them I do!

7.  Ralph.  So much wrapped up in one word.  There is no way that I can adequately express how thankful I am that Ralph came into my life.  I’m so happy that we get to make our way through life together.

I may have used this photo before, but it’s one of my favorites.  It’s from Thanksgiving 1993.  I know this for a fact because we have a video from that year and in the video you see this photo taken! Amazing that after all these years, we still like each other!  ;-)

Thought I’d include one more thing that makes me thankful…Sunsets!

Everyone have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Every Day is NOT a Party~Thinking Ahead

I loved being a Weight Watchers Leader.  I really hated when I had to stop doing my meetings.  It was all due to getting up at 3:50am, driving 25 miles to work, working until 4pm then driving 25 miles back home again.  With that schedule, it was difficult to be out 4 night s a week as well.  I did it for 7 months but then a scary incident where I started to fall asleep on the drive home told me that I had to stop.

Although I don’t get paid by Weight Watchers any longer to talk about Weight Watchers…I still get to do it here! :-)  I get to share and talk about what I think are good ideas to help if you are on WW or just good tips in general for a healthy lifestyle.

During the Holiday season, and I guess I do have to surrender to the fact that this is the Holiday season since Thursday is Thanksgiving, at WW meetings everyone is buzzing about what to do regarding food over the Holidays, how to stay on program…in general, How To Survive!

At some point in my Weight Watchers experience I came up with this idea.  We agonize over what we’ll eat, what we have to miss out on…How Will We Deal with all of this food?

It’s a simple tip, it doesn’t cost you anything (presuming that you have a calendar and a pen) and it helps to put the Holiday foods issues into perspective.

Just take out your calendar and your pen…I like red because…hello…it stands out!



I start by highlighting the obvious Holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve.  Then as they appear, I add in any “eating occasions” that come up.  In November, I had Ralph’s Family Lunch, in December I have Ralph’s Family Dinner.   I keep adding as they come along…I HOPE someone will want to feed me again between now and the end of the year! ;-)  I also indicate the days after Thanksgiving because we all know they can be tricky.

The key is this…I know that on the days I highlight, I will be eating.  I will very likely be eating outside of my usual routine.  I know this in advance, I can judge what I might eat ( I know what is offered at the restaurant where we usually have the family gatherings, I know what will be offered on Thanksgiving) and plan accordingly.

My job, especially on the weeks with one or heaven forbid two eating out occasions, is to do my very best to be very accurate on Program.  Approach each day as a test to myself to be the very best Weight Watchers example that I can be. Make good food choices. Write everything down.  Drink all my water.  Try to save my Weekly Allowance Points for the challenging day.  Get in as much exercise as I can.  I can earn points that way and although I don’t think I’ve ever used activity Points for food, just doing the exercise is a positive thing and if I really needed the extra points, they would be there!

See, it’s simple.  Even if you’re not working the Weight Watchers Program it’s a good idea (she says patting herself on the back! ;-)  ) It helps you put your eating into perspective.  If you know you have flexibility on that Holiday or other eating occasion, you are in control, not the food.

I am now going to shamelessly steal from my wonderful Weight Watchers Leader, MaryLou.  This is the statement that I first heard from her years ago and I still try to live by it…”View Every Challenge As An Opportunity To Succeed!!”  She has helped me in innumerable ways during the 25 plus years I’ve known her.  This is what has always stuck with me and I appreciate it so much.  I wanted to share it with all of you.

So…everyone get out your calendar and pen and start making the choice to be Successful!

Happy Tuesday!



Slow Poke Sunday

Sunday seemed like a slow and easy day.  In fact it almost feels like the day didn’t happen.  I suppose that means that nothing traumatic happened.  I can’t complain about that. :-)

I was up early and got a few things done.  When it was time for breakfast, I woke Ralph and we enjoyed a little time together.

Ele and I had planned on going out for coffee.  Our choice was a fairly obvious one…Barnes & Noble.

I had a sugar-free, fat-free gingerbread latte.  It was very tasty, but I thought I remembered the sugar-free syrup being unsweetened and I was planning to add some Splenda.  Fortunately, I tasted it first because it was perfect as is.  The snack in the background was Ele’s and though she repeatedly offered to share (Thank you, Ele!!) I resisted.  That’s my plan…Focused and On Track! 

I had a 20% off one item coupon that was expiring on Sunday, but couldn’t find anything I felt I wanted to use it on.  I’m SO Cheap…umm…Frugal anymore.  Can’t bring myself to spend real money on books.  I “shop looked” at Nooks again.  They’ve just reduced the prices on some of the versions and I know I have enough gift cards so, I think now is the time.  I just want to do it when it’s not crazy and crowded.  I’ll need to get there when the store first opens one day. In fact, Ele and I discussed that this was probably the last chance we’ll have to actually find a seat in the cafe, with the Holidays upon us.  We took advantage of it and enjoyed our time there.

I spent most of the rest of the day relaxing and reading.  Ralph was in the dumps when I got home because the Eagles were doing so poorly.  It’s sad for all of the fans who are so loyal.  That’s all I’ll say, at least with the Phillies, we win sometimes!

As I was sitting comfy on the bed reading, I caught a glimpse of color out of the side window to the West.  Sunset!!

I love when I catch these types of shots.  It makes me so happy.  I really want to work more on photography.  That’s one of my goals for 2013.  Yikes, I guess it’s time to start my list of goals.  I should also probably look back and see how I did with my 2012 list of goals.  I’m almost afraid to look!! :-(

On to a great Holiday Week!!

Happy Monday!!


Back in October I wrote a post about The Giver, a book I had never heard of until early October.  I was and still am amazed that I had never heard of it before that time.

The Giver (The Giver, #1)

I mentioned how much I loved it and how I had found the two subsequent books Gathering Blue and Messenger at the library for 50 cents each and couldn’t resist picking them up even though I didn’t have The Giver at the time.  I remedied that, purchased The Giver and I was off and running.

Gathering Blue

Gathering Blue took the story in a different direction, introducing new characters and could have been a standalone book. Again, it was filled with rich characters facing challenges in a harsh, ever-changing world.

Messenger (The Giver, #3)

Messenger did the same thing.  It pulled me into this world and could have been its own book, but it deepened the story and set it up for the big finish.  That sounds a bit of a flippant way to describe these books but I mean it in the best possible way.

I had put myself on the list at my library to get Son, the final book in the Quartet.  I was very happy that I didn’t have to wait long.  I’ve never heard the term Quartet used for a series of books and I love it. 

Son (The Giver, #4)

Quartet is good but in a way, Siblings might even fit.  I feel that one of the underlying themes of these books is family and how if you don’t have one, you can create one.  Son brought back characters from the first three books and allows the reader to know the destiny of some of the earlier characters. 

In my life, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family.  I know how lucky I’ve been to always have their love and support.  I know that so many others are not blessed in that same way.  Our family has always had a tradition of “taking in strays” as we call it.  If someone has nowhere to go on a holiday, we take them in, no one should be alone on a holiday.  With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I think about all of those strays who over the years have filled out our table and of those who have passed on, leaving seats to be filled.  Consider taking in someone for the Holiday who is unable to share it with their family or no family with whom to share it.

I suggest that you all read The Giver Quartet.  I think it will touch you as it touched me.

Happy Friday!

WIAW~Happy Halloween!!

Last year, for Halloween, I posted this photo of myself…

It’s blurry, but that’s me at about 2 years old…I think.  I also mentioned last year that I still had the costume.  It was handmade probably by my Mom or Gram or a combination of the two! I couldn’t find it last year, but…

It’s not the best photo in the world and it shows you all what a messy desk I have, but that’s my costume!!  I’m very excited that I found it and I’ve been waiting all year to show it to you.  It might have been nice if I’d bothered to prepare and take a better photo, but you get what you get around here!

But of course, it’s not just Halloween…It’s What I Ate Wednesday!! Don’t forget to stop over to see what’s happening at Peas & Crayons…Jenn always throws the best Wednesday parties!! I don’t have a lot of food to share with you, but hey, there was a hurricane and I was doing the best I could! 

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Breakfast was simple and one of my usuals…

Fat-free peach yogurt with Fiber One.  Always one of my favorites and it does the job.

In an effort to stay healthy, I made up this concoction that I found on Facebook.  Lemon and ginger in honey.  You let it sit overnight before using it.  It does require a bit of stirring…the lemon and ginger is sort of wet on top and you need to mix it into the honey before using.  I made a cup of tea and then added about a teaspoon of the honey along with a few pieces each of lemon and ginger.  It was very tasty.  In fact I had two cups of it during the storm! Love my Fall mug that my sister, Ele gave me last year!

I had made some hard-boiled eggs in preparation for the storm.  I mashed up one egg and mixed in a quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese.

I had peeled all of the eggs and put them in individual containers.  So much easier to peel them when they’re freshly made and still warm…too hard after they get cold.  I used to do this to take eggs with me to work for lunch.  Boy, my quarter cup measure is getting a lot of face time in this post! ;-)

On a toasted sandwich thin with lots of black pepper and jalapenos…Delicious!  I’ll be doing this again!

On Sunday, I had put together a crock pot batch of the Weight Watchers vegetable soup.  I combined onions, garlic, carrots, celery, cabbage, broth, spices(cumin, cayenne and a new Mrs. Dash I found-Tomato Basil Garlic) and a cup and a half of the red beans I made in the crock pot earlier in the week.

Topped with the last of my Locatelli cheese… :-(  Glad the storm has passed, I need more!  This was delicious.  I need to make it more often!

This sounds like it’s becoming a post about my crock pot, but that’s not my intention…this time! ;-)  I had to have something sweet, so…

Some of my crock pot apples and pears topped with plain fat-free yogurt and some pumpkin pie spice.  This is one of my favorite sweet treats and on Weight Watchers, I only have to count the yogurt which is only 1 Point.  Very filling for 1 Point!

That’s What I Ate Wednesday for this week.  Hopefully, you all came through Hurricane Sandy unscathed.  Be sure to hop on over to Peas & Crayons to see what other scary food you can find and be sure to leave some treats (comments) for the fun bloggers over there!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Happy Halloween!!